The Premier League sacking spree continued with Southampton’s dismissal of Nathan Jones this weekend, with the boss let go after another disappointing defeat for the Saints. The struggling side lost 2-1 at home to 10-man Wolves on Saturday, condemning Jones and his men to yet another defeat; the club’s 15th of the current Premier League season.
Southampton are currently rock bottom of the Premier League table, winning just four of their 22 matches so far. They have drawn three times, scoring just 18 goals and conceding 40 in that time. Those totals put them 17th and second in the respective leaderboards for goals scored and goals conceded for the current campaign, undoubtedly uncomfortable positions to be in as the season begins to creep its way towards its closing stages.
Jones has now been removed from his role after seven losses from his eight games in charge, with such a poor record making him one of the least successful managers in the history of the Premier League. While his 0.38 points-per-match average is the fourth-lowest in the competition’s history (for managers who managed at least eight games), fortunately for Jones, he just about misses out on a place in another unwanted list of the top five shortest managerial reigns in Premier League history.
The 5 shortest managerial reigns in Premier League history
5 Quique Sanchez Flores – Watford (85 days)
As noted by the Premier League, Jones was sacked just 94 days after joining Southampton, but it was still slightly longer than Quique Sanchez Flores at Watford, who lasted just 85 days in the dugout at Vicarage Road.
Sanchez Flores was, of course, just one of a number of unfortunate managers to try their luck in the Watford hot seat, with the club famously going through several bosses in a short period of time, none of which seemingly had much success, or rather were not given much time at all to succeed.
4 Bob Bradley – Swansea (84 days)
US bosses haven’t exactly managed to set the Premier League alight in recent times, with Jesse Marsch the most recent such manager to be axed in the English top-flight, losing his job at Leeds earlier this month amid a poor campaign from the Yorkshire outfit so far.
But Marsch by no means represents the shortest stint from a US manager in the division, with Bob Bradley sacked from his job as Swansea boss in December 2016 after just 84 days. The manager picked up just eight points from his 11 matches in the dugout of the Premier League club.
3 Frank de Boer – Crystal Palace (77 days)
Picking up the fewest amount of points in the list is Crystal Palace’s Frank de Boer, who was sacked as manager of the Eagles after 77 days in charge, with the manager failing to pick up a single point from his four matches.
His spell represents the shortest reign in Premier League history in terms of games in charge, with the manager leaving Palace sitting 19th in the table after his miserable and quick period in the dugout. Moreover, the club failed to score in their four league matches under De Boer.
2 Rene Meulensteen – Fulham (75 days)
Sitting second in the list of the shortest managerial reigns in Premier League history is Rene Meulensteen, who lasted just 75 days in charge of Fulham. The west London outfit are flying high in the English top-flight these days, but that wasn’t always the case, with Meulensteen claiming his employers at the time “hit the panic button on emotion and fear” as they sat rock bottom of the table.
The manager did, however, at least manage to hit double figures for points while in the dugout at Craven Cottage, but the 10 points collected from his 13 matches in charge was not enough to convince the powers that be to offer him more time in the job.
1 Les Reed – Charlton (40 days)
Sitting top of this unfortunate list is Les Reed, who was handed just 40 working days by Charlton in November and December 2006. Remarkably, however, he picked up one point more than Jones managed at Southampton in less than half the time.
Reed clinched four points from his seven Charlton games in the Premier League. The club were struggling back then, but are struggling even more so now in the wider scheme of things, currently plying their trade in League One in a gradual fall from grace over the years
What next for Premier League strugglers Southampton?
As mentioned, the Saints are currently in bottom place and are four points from safety as the Premier League pushes past the halfway mark.
Previous Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl averaged 1.17 points-per-match during his time in charge of the club, with Jones’s 0.38 points-per-match average below only Erik Black (0.11), Terry Connor (0.31) and Jan Siewert (0.33). Southampton have the second-worst goal difference in the current campaign, meaning the new boss has a huge job on their hands in trying to save the club from a somewhat unthinkable relegation to the Championship.
As for that manager, both Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch have been linked with the position, as has former Aston Villa and Rangers boss Steven Gerrard. Ex-Saints manager Hasenhuttl meanwhile has been linked with a return to St Mary’s, with the likes of Dean Smith and Rafa Benitez also reportedly in line to take over. Southampton are, of course, not the only club after a new boss, with Leeds also still searching for a new face in the dugout.
Who could be the next manager to be sacked?
As ever in the Premier League, sackings have been a regular occurrence this season, with Jones departing Southampton quickly after Marsch left Elland Road. And these sackings came after Frank Lampard lost his job at Everton last month.
With plenty of football still left to play this season, several managers will be sweating over the next few months as they aim to keep their job, but it hasn’t stopped bookmakers from establishing the dreaded favourite to leave list. On the list are the likes of Bournemouth’s Gary O’Neill, Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers, Chelsea’s Graham Potter and West Ham’s David Moyes. Even Liverpool favourite Jurgen Klopp finds his position uncertain given the club’s current situation.